A Texas A&M University foundation is being sued over allegations it gradually reduced benefits promised to individuals who made endowments to the foundation.

Sammy York, Henry Holubec Jr. and Gregory Hayes filed the suit on March 11 against the Texas A&M University 12th Man Foundation, alleging the foundation gradually reduced the benefits it originally promised to them for their lifetime.

The donors received mainly football-related benefits, including tickets to home and away games, “best available” seating locations and game-day parking perks. The plaintiffs said they each made an endowment originally for $30,000 in the 1980s for four seats at football games. York later reduced his endowment to $20,000 for two seats.

The lawsuit alleges the foundation said in 2005 that the “Permanently Endowed Donors” had received “full value” for their payments, but began to reduce the benefits. The plaintiffs allege the foundation stopped providing preferred seating and required donors to pay more money to upgrade seat locations.

The lawsuit said a new reseating process eliminated donors' “established seat locations for home football games.”

“The foundation’s long-term strategy was simple: Reclaim and resell, at a higher price, the highest-value benefits to a 'new generation' of Aggie alumni,” the lawsuit said.

The plaintiffs are seeking class status for the reported 450 other endowment donors and more than $5 million in damages, plus court costs.

They are represented by Debra Brewer Hayes, Charles Clinton Hunter and Jigna Patel of the Hayes Law Firm, PC, in Kingwood, Texas, and Carl Roth and Brendan Roth of the Roth Law Firm, PC, in Marshall, Texas.

United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division, case No. 2:15-cv-00352.

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